Scripture: (Neh 1:5-11 NKJV)  And I said: “I pray, LORD God of heaven, O great and awesome God, You who keep Your covenant and mercy with those who love You and observe Your commandments, {6} “please let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open, that You may hear the prayer of Your servant which I pray before You now, day and night, for the children of Israel Your servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel which we have sinned against You. Both my father’s house and I have sinned. {7} “We have acted very corruptly against You, and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, nor the ordinances which You commanded Your servant Moses. {8} “Remember, I pray, the word that You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations; {9} ‘but if you return to Me, and keep My commandments and do them, though some of you were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, yet I will gather them from there, and bring them to the place which I have chosen as a dwelling for My name.’ {10} “Now these are Your servants and Your people, whom You have redeemed by Your great power, and by Your strong hand. {11} “O Lord, I pray, please let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant, and to the prayer of Your servants who desire to fear Your name; and let Your servant prosper this day, I pray, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.” For I was the king’s cupbearer.

Observation: Nehemiah was saddened to know the ruined condition of Jerusalem and Judah, and he recognized that it was the result of the people’s rebelliousness against God.  So he prays the prayer in our text for today.

Application: Nehemiah could have prayed for deliverance for himself and his family, but instead, he recognized all of them needed to repent.  At the same time, he could have prayed for forgiveness only for the people, but he was humble enough to pray for the people but also for himself.
     It is interesting how at times we pray for our loved ones, which we should do, and ask God to lead them closer to Him, and to bring them to repentance and to the place where they will be ready for His soon return.  But somehow we don’t always come humbly before the Lord in recognition of our own need for repentance, knowledge of God, and preparation for His return.  Nehemiah prayed for his people, but humbly also prayed and confessed his own sin.  And the wonderful thing is that God heard his plea and granted his prayer and Nehemiah was able to go back and lead in the rebuilding of the city and the reestablishment of the worship of God.  Maybe our prayers will be the catalyst for a complete revival in our lives and in our homes, maybe even beyond to our churches and to the area where we live. . . and it all begins with being humble enough to recognize our own need for repentance and forgiveness.

A Prayer You May Say: Father, we too have sinned and have turned our backs to you.  Forgive our sin, cleanse us and make us new, and may the experience of conversion be ours and that of our loved ones.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.



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